MARTHA SEZ: ‘Fruit flies … also love liquid soap, the kind I make at home’

My new lifestyle blog. So exciting! I’m just getting started. Which makes sense, since I just found out that lifestyle blogs exist.

I was inspired to create a lifestyle blog when, unasked, marketers for a cat litter company sent me coupons for their product. They had seen a column I wrote about a bear who carried a new 25-pound sack of the litter up a maple tree and then ripped it open. That got me thinking.

Apparently, people make tons of money by documenting their lifestyle with recipes, workouts, travel tips, makeup and fashion insights, gardening and home decor plans and even information on how to dress cute animals in holiday costumes. The idea is to showcase commercial products–everything from volumizing shampoo to indoor house paint–and who knew there were so many shades of white?– with lots of beautiful and charming photographs.

The lifestyle blogs I’ve Googled are glamorous, featuring photographs of beautiful people with perfect hair in opulently appointed rooms. What if I use old photographs of myself for my blog? The trouble is, they look dated. Maybe my neighbor’s granddaughter could photoshop some for me, trade my bouffant flip for the long, loose ringlets now de rigeur on the Hallmark Channel. Even Jane Fonda’s current hairdo might work. But when I asked her, Lucy told me she was “pretty busy.”

Then it hit me: What about a granny lifestyle blog, with photographs of beautiful grandchildren, covering subjects relevant to mature people? Health issues, pets. GARDENING would include tips on getting a Christmas cactus to bloom. HOME DECOR? What about some crochet patterns?

I read that it’s best to limit the subjects you cover. Too many subjects will be distracting and off-putting. People interested in hiking, eating kale and swigging kombucha, for example, may be confused by the inclusion of BYZANTINE ICONOCLASM on your blog.

Or perhaps not, who knows? But better to be safe than sorry and focus on four or five subjects per blog.


Lately I’ve had some back problems, so my workout blogging will be limited for a while. What about carrying in groceries from the car?

Fruit flies

Drosophila melanogaster, a species of fly, is very common in supermarkets, restaurants and home kitchens midsummer through fall. Fruit flies are small and look like gnats or blackflies. One good thing is they don’t bite. You may find them hovering around your tomatoes or fruit bowl and wonder how they materialized so quickly. When you witness this phenomenon, you understand how Aristotle and the ancient Greeks came to believe in the theory of spontaneous generation. (Photograph of attractive fruit bowl) I asked my friend Danielle for advice on fruit flies for my blog. She contributed: “To avoid fruit flies, put vegetable and fruit peels and seeds into plastic bags and seal the bags, or you can freeze them until you take them out to the trash or compost.”

My friend Darla told me, “Some people have fruit flies in their house, but I don’t, because I rinse out soda cans very thoroughly.”


I said, maybe a touch self-righteously, “Since I don’t usually drink soda, I don’t have that problem.”

What I didn’t mention to Darla is that fruit flies adore wine. They will zero in on your wine bottle from out of nowhere the second you get the cork out. Your first sip from your beautiful crystal stemware will contain at least one fruit fly. You just have to learn to expect this and get used to it if you are going to drink at all during fruit-fly season.

Fruit flies are crazy about alcohol, especially sweet, syrupy liqueurs. Once in Lake Placid I was served a B&B cocktail that was thick with fruit flies. They had chosen to fly into the Benedictine bottle, there to perish, rather than live out the rest of their brief lives teetotal. While I understood their dilemma, I sent back the drink. That was just way too many Drosophilae.

Here’s a peculiar fact: Although fruit flies are naturally attracted to their eponymous food source, overripe fruit, they also love liquid soap, the kind I make at home. Given the slightest opportunity, they will immerse themselves in the saponified liquid and die.

I think that I have made it clear that fruit-fly season can pose big problems. Since successful bloggers must blog every four days, minimum, we are bound to solve this problem soon, and maybe even find a product to promote.

Have a good week.

(Martha Allen lives in Keene Valley. She has been writing for the News for more than 20 years.)